For the first time in a few years I am spending most of my free time working on artistic endeavours.
My Xbox lies unused, the Internet unbrowsed and I am at least two weeks behind on all my favourite TV programs.
The reason? DECONSTRUCTED. Around a week ago my estranged friend Den Patrick approached me with the idea of producing a limited run web comic to be serialised online and then, all being well, published in time for next years Birmingham Comic Expo. the industrious little chap had already knocked up a script and list of characters and such to be designed and asked me on board to help out with pencils and design work. Seems he had caught the writing bug at this years event and within hours had passed it to me with all the virulence of swine flu.
I put out the first sketch I did in the previous post but I wasn't sure how much Den wanted circulating just yet so I had to be a little circumspect with the information. After a few (dozen) emails I now have a much better idea of Den's plans (some of which are growing rapidly, fuelled by his burning ambition) and soon there'll be a separate blog charting our progress on the project.
Until then I'm going to post stuff here, and after my first day off since beginning I can offer you the following bits;
Full page. The front end of a large, boxy snow crawler. It is painted khaki green but is covered in ice and snow. It bears the legend ‘DONKEY’, but someone has graffiti’ed ‘WONKY’ just over the top of the word. The grille is opened and a single person is tinkering with the engine. Don’t make it look American, instead opt for that blocky, un-fussy Soviet style. Perhaps decorate the side of the crawler with a big ‘02’.
Orange sirens on the back of the crawler cast a weird light over the surrounding environment. Instead of making the whole thing run on two tank tracks maybe opt for four, like the Jawa Sandcrawler from Star Wars.
This is the Donkey; a futuristic snowmobile-apc type vehicle that features in the early pages of issue one. Den instructed me that it needed to be built like a Soviet era tank and have tracks rather than wheels much like the sandcrawler from Star Wars. The script demands that it have a cabin large enough to sit at least two with good forward visibility and a rear habitation compartment accessible through the cabin. Den didn't specify if it had a plough so I left room for one to fit if needed. I took my inspiration from the photos and drawings that Den handily included in his notes but also from a John Deer combine harvester- recent models of which look awesomely scifi.
NAKAMURA –Behind them, at a kitchenette is NAKAMURA, a Japanese man. He is fixing himself a drink. He wears combats but with a Lab Coat, so we know he’s the science bod. I like the idea of him having goggles pushed back on his forehead too.
Nakamura; A member of the Evangeline (an interplanetary salvage and transport vessel in the style of Serenity or Alien: Resurrection's Betty- more to come on that) crew. Nakamura is described as Japanese and wearing a labcoat, thus denoting his place on the crew as 'science guy' but also wearing combats, so I picture him as a pretty laid back type of dude.
AMENT, – is the chief mechanic. A bear of a man, from Russian stock. He wears dog tags and a black bandana. All his gear is scuffed, ripped or worn. He looks like he escaped from a Grateful Dead concert.
I had a lot of fun drawing Ament. His description, though relatively sparse gave me plenty to play around with, and seeing as I rarely draw the huge, musclebound comicbook type guys you often see in mainstream books it made a refreshing change. By the way- his T-shirt is an actual Grateful Dead tour shirt- summer 1987. For anyone who cares.
I've got lots of things still to design before I can even get started on page comps and this is going to keep me occupied for ages to come. Posts about other stuff may suffer but I'm sure most of you won't mind seeing so much new stuff- yay!
Watch this space for news on the DESCONSTRUCTED blog...